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CRIME AND COURT ROUNDUP: Dane County man sentenced to 20 years prison for reckless homicide

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

A Dane County man was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison when he attacked another man with a baseball bat in a drug-related killing. 19-year-old Koalton Peterson of Mount Horeb had pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated battery in the death of 20-year-old Ryan Smith of Fitchburg. Prosecutors said the two exchanged heated text messages last November, when Peterson could not immediately come up with marijuana that Smith wanted to buy. Authorities said Peterson convinced Smith to drive to Mount Horeb to fight him -- and when Smith arrived, the attacker hit him in the head and chest with the baseball bat. Peterson apologized to Smith's family before he was sent to prison.

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A Racine County man will spend 38 years in prison for shooting a man to death in a dark pole barn. 47-year-old Scott Mertins Senior of Sturtevant must also spend 13 years under extended supervision once he gets out. Prosecutors said he shot 54-year-old Robert Greene, formerly of Mount Pleasant. Greene and his girlfriend were in the area for a funeral last year -- and they were sleeping in the pole barn when Greene heard a noise, stood up to investigate, and was shot. His lawyer said Mertins was drinking when he decided to get some belongings from the barn. He told a judge yesterday he did not mean to hurt anyone. Mertins was convicted of reckless homicide. Charges of burglary, vehicle theft, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon were dropped in a plea deal.

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A federal judge in Illinois has issued a temporary restraining order against a telemarketer from Stevens Point and eight others accused in a Medicare scam. The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that A-F-D Advisors of Stevens Point was among the companies and owners which had their assets frozen. That's after the F-T-C filed a lawsuit against those operators. The government said the telemarketers offered discount Medicare cards -- and the F-T-C said clients were falsely led to believe they had to buy the cards to keep their present Medicare, Social Security, and other benefits. The seniors were asked to provide their bank account numbers -- and officials said the businesses withdrew up to 300-dollars to pay for the cards, with the sole purpose of keeping the money. A federal investigation began after Wisconsin's Better Business Bureau issued an alert against the Stevens Point A-F-D business in February. The bureau said the Point address was actually a U-P-S rental box.

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An investigation continues into a weekend mobile home fire that killed a woman in northwest Wisconsin. The body of 48-year-old Sharon Nelson of New Auburn was recovered in the living room area. The blaze broke out early Sunday morning. Authorities said the mobile home was engulfed in flames by the time New Auburn fire crews arrived. Foul play is not suspected.

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